300 episodes

With What Bitcoin Did, host Peter McCormack talks to experts in the world of Bitcoin, economics and politics. From developers to investors, journalists to authors, you will learn about everything in the world of Bitcoin.

What Bitcoin Did with Peter McCormack Peter McCormack

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 2K Ratings

With What Bitcoin Did, host Peter McCormack talks to experts in the world of Bitcoin, economics and politics. From developers to investors, journalists to authors, you will learn about everything in the world of Bitcoin.

    Bitcoin is a Pioneer Species with Brandon Quittem

    Bitcoin is a Pioneer Species with Brandon Quittem

    “Bitcoin mining is everything you don’t understand about energy, combined with everything you don’t understand about Bitcoin.”— Brandon Quittem
    Brandon Quittem is a writer and Communications Director for Swan Bitcoin. In this interview, we discuss his latest article: ‘Bitcoin is a Pioneer Species’, where he compares Bitcoin miners to species that settle and populate barren landscapes triggering the development of more advanced ecosystems.
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    The acceptance of Bitcoin is an acceptance of the need for continuous education and receptivity. This past year has shown why: Bitcoin mining has been transformed from being a critical but specific cog in the often misunderstood Proof of Work protocol to a tool with the potential to transform the global energy industry. Nobody foresaw this.
    Going down the rabbit hole now involves gaining knowledge of energy systems: production methods, grids, distribution networks, batteries, energy economics etc. This knowledge is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that the veil of ignorance is lifted on this vital industry showing politicians are driving blind with their policy decisions. A curse in that those sceptical that Bitcoin can change finance, are now incredulous when we state it can transform energy too.
    But the logic is clear. Bitcoin can harness electrical energy anywhere in the world. In doing so it can facilitate and thereby fast-track the build-out of energy in isolated environments, becoming a bridge for costly downstream investment needed to connect such sources to a grid. All of this without any need for a state subsidy, or international coordination.
    Bitcoin can therefore revitalise existing populations: currently, a billion people don’t have access to electricity. Imagine what benefits could be brought by integrating these people into the digital economy. Bitcoin mining can also be the pioneer species for previously uninhabited areas of the planet. It can take barren areas and provide the economic basis from which further development can grow. Contemplating that should make it clear: we’re still so very early!
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    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is hereFidelity - Careers in cryptoLedger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
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    WBD591 - Show Notes
    -----If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show by doing the following:Become a Patron and get access to shows early or help contributeMake a tip:Bitcoin: 3FiC6w7eb3dkcaNHMAnj39ANTAkv8Ufi2SQR Codes: BitcoinIf you do send a tip then please email me so that I can say thank youSubscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | Deezer | TuneIn | RSS FeedLeave a review on iTunesShare the show and episodes with your friends and familySubscribe to the newsletter on my websiteFollow me on Twitter Personal | Twitter Podcast | Instagram | Medium | YouTubeIf you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

    • 1 hr 46 min
    Fighting the Bitcoin Mining FUD with Troy Cross

    Fighting the Bitcoin Mining FUD with Troy Cross

    “The story I want to be true about mining is that it strengthens grids, it lowers electrical rates for citizens for ordinary ratepayers, and it helps us green the grid, helps us mitigate methane…those stories were wrong during the bull run because everybody’s just plugging in, now those stories are coming true.”— Troy Cross
    Troy Cross is a Professor of Philosopher and Fellow at the Bitcoin Policy Institute. In this interview, we discuss the changing narrative around Bitcoin mining: is it finding its real utility in a bear market as the ultimate auxiliary tool, and how early are we in discovering its range of uses as a tool?
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    The trajectory of Bitcoin mining’s narrative has been breathtaking. Over the last year, it has gone from being singularly promoted for its principal role in securing the Bitcoin network, to having a whole host of other uses identified and championed: subsidising stranded energy, stabilising energy grids, mitigating methane emissions, and providing heat for a range of activities.
    Policymakers are struggling to keep up. The tired old FUD of Bitcoin’s energy use and carbon footprint are still being used as attack vectors by supposed reputable institutions such as the ECB. It also feeds into the narratives picked up by policymakers such as the White House, who’s commissioned report on Bitcoin mining’s climate impacts was affected by mainstream ignorance.
    But, the White House report also included recognition of some of Bitcoin mining’s emerging benefits, as well as correcting some misrepresentations of its impacts. This shows that, whilst we are far from getting widespread acceptance of the importance of Bitcoin mining, the effort spent on education and advocacy by the Bitcoin community is having a vital real-world impact.
    Promoting Bitcoin mining’s evolving narrative is critical. This is because we’re on the cusp of some far-reaching regulation in the wake of recent crypto scams. Regulators could see this as an opportunity to constrain Bitcoin mining; politicians never let a good crisis go to waste.
    Yet, we are still early in understanding the scope of Bitcoin mining’s value. New uses are being researched and developed all the time: OTEC, water desalination and carbon capture are recent examples. Bitcoin mining is emerging as perhaps an engineer's ultimate auxiliary tool. The mission is therefore to not only continue to convey Bitcoin mining’s importance, but provide the widest possible frame for its significance.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is hereFidelity - Careers in cryptoLedger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
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    WBD590 - Show Notes
    -----If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show by doing the following:Become a Patron and get access to shows early or help contributeMake a tip:Bitcoin: 3FiC6w7eb3dkcaNHMAnj39ANTAkv8Ufi2SQR Codes: BitcoinIf you do send a tip then please email me so that I can say thank youSubscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | Deezer | TuneIn | RSS FeedLeave a review on iTunesShare the show and episodes with your friends and familySubscribe to the newsletter on my websiteFollow me on Twitter Personal | Twitter Podcast | Instagram | Medium | YouTubeIf you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

    • 2 hr 23 min
    A Climate Change Debate with Nate Harmon and Steve Barbour

    A Climate Change Debate with Nate Harmon and Steve Barbour

    “We can’t just let these people die…I came up with the best plan that I could possibly do and that’s to bring them as much energy as possible in the least damaging way because if you have unlimited energy you can solve unlimited problems.”— Nate Harmon
    Nate Harmon is CEO and cofounder of OceanBit; Steve Barbour is CEO and founder of Upstream Data; both are Bitcoiners. In this interview, we debate climate change: the reliability of climate models, climate change mitigation, adaptation and the forecast inequality of climate change impacts.
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    What Bitcoin Did has discussed both sides of the climate change debate with a number of esteemed guests. The reasoning is two-fold: firstly, one of Bitcoin’s major attack vectors is energy use and associated climate change impacts; secondly, it is one of the major issues of our time, arguably the most pressing issue. These shows have either expressed one side or another, until now.
    Bitcoiners are a broad church. That is an inherent strength. But is also brings its own internal pressures. Whilst there is broad consensus on Bitcoin’s mission, there are divergent opinions on a host of other issues that this new form of money affects. None more so than climate change. Many believe in the need for fossil fuels to enable humans to continue to flourish; others argue that we need to rapidly pivot from fossil fuel reliance if we’re to avoid an existential crisis.
    However, the debate is not open-ended. There is a strong argument that the framing of the current discussion falls within agreed boundaries. It doesn’t feel contentious to state both sides of the debate within the Bitcoin community agree that abundant energy is needed and that the climate is warming. The disagreement is focused on the rate of climate change and the approach to mitigation.
    Obviously, whilst there is agreement that narrows the parameters of any debate, the outstanding issues are complex, contentious and critical. The stakes on both sides are high; discussion and compromise are vital. Can we within the community find common ground? Is it possible to attenuate the growing animosity around this subject? Can Bitcoiners lead the way in being open-minded, receptive and malleable to different ideas? Let’s start engaging and find out.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is hereFidelity - Careers in cryptoLedger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
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    WBD589 - Show Notes
    -----If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show by doing the following:Become a Patron and get access to shows early or help contributeMake a tip:Bitcoin: 3FiC6w7eb3dkcaNHMAnj39ANTAkv8Ufi2SQR Codes: BitcoinIf you do send a tip then please email me so that I can say thank youSubscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | Deezer | TuneIn | RSS FeedLeave a review on iTunesShare the show and episodes with your friends and familySubscribe to the newsletter on my websiteFollow me on Twitter Personal | Twitter Podcast | Instagram | Medium | YouTubeIf you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

    • 2 hr 28 min
    Can Bitcoin Bridge the Political Divide? With Ted Cruz

    Can Bitcoin Bridge the Political Divide? With Ted Cruz

    “I am an enthusiastic fan of Bitcoin and I want to say to everyone here thank you for what you’re doing to drive the Texas economy, to drive the American economy, to modernise energy, to strengthen resiliency of the grid, to enhance economic freedom.”— Ted Cruz
    Ted Cruz is a serving US Senator for Texas. In this interview, we discuss the importance of Bitcoin for Texas and the United States, communicating the threat of CBDCs, the political and regulatory challenges, and Bitcoin’s symbiotic relationship with energy.
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    Ted Cruz is one of the most consequential politicians of his generation. He is a strong advocate for liberty and the tools that support freedom within society. It is perhaps no surprise that he is therefore a fan of Bitcoin. But equally, it shows strength and courage as many of those in positions of power still cast aspersions about Bitcoin and its associated community.
    Yet, as with all firebrand politicians, Ted Cruz divides opinions. He is uncompromising in his approach to certain issues. He is also part of the modern political game whereby the opposition is deemed to be the enemy. There is an obvious political incentive to adopt such characteristics in terms of being able to clearly delineate your position where there is significant competition for attention.
    There are certainly strong critics of Bitcoin within the Democratic party. However, Bitcoin can not be allowed to become a political football. It is still a nascent technology, and its development in the US could still be derailed by damaging regulation. It is imperative therefore that those who back Bitcoin on both sides of the aisle not only work together, but they are seen to be working together (e.g. Lummis and Gillibrand).
    Ted Cruz acknowledges this. He knows that his voice has a limited reach within more progressive circles. He needs those who would otherwise be antithetical to his politics to join him, and vice versa, to ensure this technology and its community is not driven out of the US. The basis of the reasoning is sound: it is freedom money that has a symbiotic relationship with energy. Let’s work to ensure politicians can see the issues anew by discarding the broken lens of politics.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is hereFidelity - Careers in cryptoLedger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
    -----
    WBD588 - Show Notes
    -----If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show by doing the following:Become a Patron and get access to shows early or help contributeMake a tip:Bitcoin: 3FiC6w7eb3dkcaNHMAnj39ANTAkv8Ufi2SQR Codes: BitcoinIf you do send a tip then please email me so that I can say thank youSubscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | Deezer | TuneIn | RSS FeedLeave a review on iTunesShare the show and episodes with your friends and familySubscribe to the newsletter on my websiteFollow me on Twitter Personal | Twitter Podcast | Instagram | Medium | YouTubeIf you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

    • 40 min
    How the IMF & World Bank Exploit Poor Countries with Alex Gladstein

    How the IMF & World Bank Exploit Poor Countries with Alex Gladstein

    “You talk about the CIA and American foreign policy during the Cold War…that’s like level one. We’re on a second level here, the IMF and World Bank are operating on a meta-level, like we’re above Cold War politics, we’re at the level of timeless, strong countries abusing poor countries; this is way beyond the Cold War.”— Alex Gladstein
    Alex Gladstein is Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation. In this interview, we discuss the IMF and World Bank - two powerful multinational institutions that have shaped the post-war world for developed nations' benefit. Alex uncovers the exploitation hidden from view and the ongoing real-world costs for the developing world.
    - - - -
    The IMF and World Bank are two major multinational institutions that have perhaps shaped the workings of the global economy more than any other. The issue is that, over the course of the past few decades, the IMF’s and World Bank’s roles and impacts have largely been forgotten.
    Whilst casual observers are distrustful of the IMF and World Bank, in the main, people’s concern is vague, lacking facts or evidence. It’s hard to know why this is, but it’s worth noting that internally produced IMF and World Bank content dominates google search results at the expense of independent content.
    And yet, the impact of the IMF and World Bank has been catastrophic for many developing nations. Specifically, it has been problematic for those outside the gilded circles of power in such countries who have had to carry the burden of debt through significant assaults on public services, food security and other fundamental quality-of-life provisions.
    The reason? Neocolonialism. Extraction of resources from the periphery for the benefit of the centre. Indebtedness has been the tool used. A Ponzi scheme of debt relief to support debt servicing, designed to keep countries subservient to those controlling the IMF and World Bank. The cost is dictatorships, corruption, environmental degradation, and the destruction of potentially millions of lives.
    It is uncertain whether Bitcoin can fix this. But, it acts as a powerful disincentive and disruption by weakening the exorbitant privilege of the dollar and enabling the innocent people subjugated by the IMF and World Bank and their own elites, an opportunity to opt-out of this system. Our role within Bitcoin is to discuss this history and help free those still bound by its constraints.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is hereFidelity - Careers in cryptoLedger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
    -----
    WBD587 - Show Notes
    -----If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show by doing the following:Become a Patron and get access to shows early or help contributeMake a tip:Bitcoin: 3FiC6w7eb3dkcaNHMAnj39ANTAkv8Ufi2SQR Codes: BitcoinIf you do send a tip then please email me so that I can say thank youSubscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | Deezer | TuneIn | RSS FeedLeave a review on iTunesShare the show and episodes with your friends and familySubscribe to the newsletter on my websiteFollow me on Twitter Personal | Twitter Podcast | Instagram | Medium | YouTubeIf you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

    • 1 hr 37 min
    The Fight for Bitcoin with Cory Klippsten

    The Fight for Bitcoin with Cory Klippsten

    “This is something that I heard from all the crypto funds back in 2017/2018…you can promise any blockchain crypto magic that you want, it can solve whatever problem you say it’s going to solve; and there’s no truth in advertising, no securities laws, no nothing governing the space, so it’s just literally the best magic scam machine in financial markets’ history.”— Cory Klippsten
    Cory Klippsten is the founder and CEO of Swan Bitcoin. In this interview, we discuss the exploitation of retail markets by crypto VCs. Cory called out many of the crypto ventures that have recently collapsed, but he saves his biggest criticism for the firm that is still active within the industry: a16z.
    - - - -
    Cory Klippsten has a scent for malfeasance within the crypto industry. He explains this by the fact he doesn’t listen to what people say, he tracks their actions and determines motivations. This has enabled him to identify ahead of time some of the most notable scams that have unravelled this year. Cory called out FTX in April this year, Luna in March, and Celsius in Dec 2020.
    Yet, there is another VC company that has risen within the crypto industry that has in recent years been the subject of much discussion and criticism. Andreessen Horowitz (it’s also referred to as a16z), founded in 2009, quickly rose to become one of the most influential investors in Silicon Valley after a series of incredibly lucrative stakes in companies such as Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and Airbnb.
    In 2013, a16z started investing in crypto, most notably with Coinbase and Ripple. In 2018 they made a concerted effort to focus on crypto as a vertical: they started by raising $300m for the first of a number of dedicated crypto funds, and from 2021 they started to lead fundraising rounds for various altcoins and crypto ventures. Many within the industry saw them as serious and reputable players. Until patterns started to emerge.
    The issue is, as Cory highlighted in a recent Twitter thread, a16z have been involved in promoting numerous tokenised projects that have all had the same price pattern: early hype resulting in a massive short-term increase in the value, followed by an equally rapid fall in value and then stagnation. The pattern appears to resemble classic ”pump and dump”, followed by “rinse and repeat.”
    Critics have long complained that such VC companies have been able to “create their own weather”, exploiting a regulatory void to monetise off the back of their own hyped narratives that appear to lack credibility. A former analyst for the company actually referred to a16z as a “media company that monetizes through VC.” But many observers, including Cory, are now calling them out. The pressure is certainly building for more attention to be paid to a16z’s activities.
    - - - -
    This episode’s sponsors:Gemini - Buy Bitcoin instantlyLedn - Financial services for Bitcoin hodlersBitcasino - The Future of Gaming is hereFidelity - Careers in cryptoLedger - State of the art Bitcoin hardware walletWasabi Wallet - Privacy by defaultBCB Group - Global digital financial Services
    -----
    WBD586 - Show Notes
    -----If you enjoy The What Bitcoin Did Podcast you can help support the show by doing the following:Become a Patron and get access to shows early or help contributeMake a tip:Bitcoin: 3FiC6w7eb3dkcaNHMAnj39ANTAkv8Ufi2SQR Codes: BitcoinIf you do send a tip then please email me so that I can say thank youSubscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | Deezer | TuneIn | RSS FeedLeave a review on iTunesShare the show and episodes with your friends and familySubscribe to the newsletter on my websiteFollow me on Twitter Personal | Twitter Podcast | Instagram | Medium | YouTubeIf you are interested in sponsoring the show, you can read more about that here or please feel free to drop me an email to discuss options.

    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
2K Ratings

2K Ratings

spltngheadache ,

Great show!

Interesting for both beginners and veterans to the industry. Easy going dialog, well organized conversations, and great production. Love this show and I think if you give it a listen you will too. Thanks Peter and team!

Rullyrfhrryoo ,

Journalism isn’t dead

Peter is a winsome and talented interviewer and his skill drawing explanations from guests about technically difficult topics is so helpful. WBD is the glass of water for taking your orange pill.

winamp2000 ,

Everything Bitcoin 101

Stop listening to every other podcast for a minute and tune in to understand the legendary and revolutionary change to ever happen to money : Bitcoin.

The guests that Peter has over explain and allow us the privilege of understanding a ton of nuances around this topic. Not single episode is boring either. Get on it. Now.

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